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For those who have visited or perhaps played this Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA golf course downriver from New Orleans, the history behind its name may be known; but for many others, why the area is called English Turn is still a


Well, there are certainly many interesting facts surrounding New Orleans and areas around South Louisiana. Many of these are stories about the fascinating history of Louisiana during its transformation from territory to statehood.

Following LaSalle’s discovery in the late 17th Century, the French returned to the area named Louisiana and established its first permanent settlement. Led by Pierre Iberville and his 18-year old brother, Jean Bapitiste Bienville, a location at a crescent bend in the Mississippi was chosen as an ideal site to establish a settlement approximately 85 miles upriver from its mouth.

The Mississippi was to become a key access to areas of North American only accessible for trade and travel by water. Shortly after the decision was made to setup an outpost in the area named Orleans, Bienville and a several French soldiers departed the small village heading downriver in a small boat in 1699.

Approximately 10 miles below New Orleans, they came upon a large English ship loaded with soldiers and supplies heading upriver. You see the English were as interested in gaining a foothold on the Mississippi River and this new territory as were the French. The quick-thinking Bienville, although young, advised the English that the French had in fact established a substantial fort and arsenal just upriver.

This of course was not factual; but it was believed by the English Captain who turned his ship around toward the south and Gulf of Mexico in order to avoid a confrontation with the French. The location on the river where this reverse took place was very proudly proclaimed by the French as English Turn. Some 300 years later, the golf and country club there adopted the area’s name.